USB 3 versus USB C: What’s the variation?

by Joy Festus
4mins read

It can be a confusing twist trying to differentiate between the different types of USB connectors we see daily because we tend to take them for granted and even ignore them as long as they just aid the transfer we need on our Smartphones and operating systems. Learn about the disparity between USB-3 and USB-C now.


Part 1.  What is USB Type 3?

Part 2.  What is USB Type C?

Part 3.  Comparison

Frequently Asked Questions

What exactly is a USB Type 3 Connector?

A USB Type 3 device has a blue colour to differentiate it from other USB standards. It was released in November 2008 and is a newer generation of USB 2.0. It uses a synchronous mechanism, which means it can receive and send data simultaneously or in steps. It also comes in a variety of standards, like 3.1, 3.2 generation 1, 3.2 generation 2 and so on. It is a backward compatible with its earlier generation and has a length of 12mm for both A & B plugs. It also allows a transfer rate of 5-8 Gbps in 25 sec and can power many devices from one hub. Moreso, USB 3 is a high speed interface with a bandwidth of 500mb/s, has good power management which supports idleness and sleep on your devices.

All you need to know about USB Type C ?

This connector system has 24 pins attached to the plug. It can be intertwined as a USB 3.1. It looks like a micro USB but it is oval in shape. It was designed on 11th August 2014 and transmits power, data and  video delivery over a single cable. It is a fast charging technology industry standard which supports various alternate modes. It has an ubiquitous function and is EU accepted. Hopefully, it will be the generally accepted tool for battery charging from the year 2024. USB type C is easy to plug in, reversible and allows the use of adapters from the older generation such as type A and B that we are used to but are soon going extinct. Its greatest advantage is its flippability, making it the best-used on the latest laptops, tablets, smartphones and headphones.

Problems Associated  With USB Type C

  1. Cable Compatibility: mixed-matching cables can lead to slow charging, outright damage and even no response.
  2. Opaque Functionality: it doesn’t say anything about power capacities, data transfer rates, interfacing protocols which can bring about confusion due to its various applications.
  3. Not every USB type C port is the same.
  4. Security Threat : bad USB malware can enter laptops unknowingly through firmware presence in cables.
  5. No proper labeling and definition.

Image credit: upsplash


To get the most out of these USB connectors, you need to be aware of the specs, here’s an explanation of each USB specification to guide when buying your next USB device.

USB 3                                  USB  C

General Specifics

No pins  :                      9                                24

Shape  :          Rectangular                          Oval

Electrical Properties

Power usage:    900MA max current    Minimum of 3A current

Cable Length:      3metres.                    2metres

Speed rate        Highspeed of 5Gbit per sec Superspeed rate of 10 Gbps

Price :             Expensive             More expensive: approximately $10-$15

You can check the current prices on Walmart and Amazon for USB-3 and USB-C enabled devices.


  1. What does USB stand for? It stands for Universal Serial Bus. The bus here is used from the word omnibus, which means its usage is for all.
  2. Do I need special software for USB Type 3? For older generation devices you will need an external card attached to your motherboard which also provides USB 3 ports, while for Windows 7 upwards you don’t need this because it is supported.
  3. Are USB Type C and USB Type 3 connectors durable and secure? They are , compared to their earlier generations.

When it comes to speed most people go for USB-C and when it comes to affordability the USB-3 seems like the best option but the good news is that both USB type C and USB type 3 work well with faster hardware and, as we all know that there is intense progress in the tech world, very soon all devices will fully benefit from them.

Watch out for our newest articles on USB devices.

Read more: 2022 Best USB Drives


Wikipedia: USB- 3

Wikipedia: USB- C

USB description

(Image credit: upsplash)

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1 comment

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